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January 14, 2013

Stop the Delta Gates

"I’m not an activist," writes Molly Pruyn of Richmond YC. "I’m just a 59-year-old nurse who has spent every summer in the Delta since I was born. I don’t think the majority of yacht clubs and sailors are aware of the danger the Delta is facing. There’s legislation that has already passed to transport more water to Southern California. Several new pumps are already in place and more are planned.  What’s stopping them is that two giant tunnels — bigger than the Chunnel — are needed to get the water to LA. 

"If this whole ‘Delta restoration’, as our governor calls it, is completed, salinity could reach Stockton, channels will narrow, habitat will be lost and anchorages will be lost. The report even talks about building salinity plants (to protect the Delta!), indicating that officials anticipate a problem that we Northern Californians are supposed to fix. The plan is fraught with ill-conceived ideas that are now being reviewed and hopefully stopped. Our reps passed this right under our noses and we didn’t even catch the drift. 

"More information can be found at," she continues. "I hope everyone will join me in signing the petition opposing the plan. It’s all very alarming, and we need to get the boating community and anybody that loves the Delta to wake up. This is the last chance to turn this around."

Molly also notes in her email that today is the last day for the public to comment on the plan. Check out the site, read the Delta Stewardship Council’s final draft of the plan, and email your comments.

Bull Canyon on Sale

Lin and Larry Pardey are icons of the cruising community. Their tales of adventure aboard their 24-ft Serrafyn and then their 29-ft Taleisin have entertained and educated sailors for decades. But the time between the two boats — the four years they spent building Taleisin — has been a mystery to most fans . . . until Lin released her memoir about that time last June. 

Lin Pardey’s memoir Bull Canyon is on sale at Amazon for the rest of January for $2.99. Click the book cover to take you to its Amazon page.

© Lin Pardey

Bull Canyon: A Boat Builder, A Writer and Other Wildlife details their time in a remote California canyon 65 miles inland building their beloved Taleisin, and the challenges involved in taking on such a feat so far from the ocean, boatyards and even such basics as electricity. 

The book, which has been a finalist for several awards, has received nothing but four and five stars on Amazon, where it was selected as one of their ‘100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less‘. "They convinced our publisher to reduce the price to $2.99 for the month," Lin told us. "The reason they chose it was because it is one of two finalists for the Willa Cather Literary Award in creative nonfiction." This is not only a wonderful boost for Lin but is an outstanding opportunity for fans to get the ebook for 80% off its normal price. 

Tell Us About Your Holiday Charter

If you were lucky enough to be chillin’ at Jost Van Dyke’s Soggy Dollar Bar over the holidays, we want to hear from you.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The two-week period surrounding Christmas and New Year’s is by far the busiest time of the year in the international yacht chartering industry. Although both charter prices and air fares are generally higher then, it’s a fantastic time for families to get away together and build unforgettable memories; for lovers to add an exotic touch to their romance; and for all who dread the cold days of winter to trade sweaters and jackets for swimsuits — and work on their winter tans.

Not far from the BVI’s famous baths lies the rocky isle called Fallen Jerusalem, another favorite snorkeling spot.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you were lucky enough to get away to some warm, sunny charter destination over the holidays, we’d love to hear about it. Send us a few paragraphs about the highlights of your sailing vacation, along with a selection of medium-to-high resolution photos, and we may publish your account in an upcoming edition of Latitude 38. In return, we’ll send you some ‘official’ Latitude logowear. Such a deal!

When you charter in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, you’ll be amazed what a difference a few degrees of latitude can make.

© The Moorings

Old Harbor Dinghy Theft

The owners of the vessel Oblivion — names, vessel type and hailing port unknown — reported to the Mazatlan net on January 12 that their dinghy had been stolen from them "at knifepoint" by two thieves.
Three important facts: 
1) The Old Harbor is at the extreme south end of town, about seven miles from El Cid Marina and Marina Mazatlan, both of which are at the extreme north end of town. Seven miles is about as far as Belvedere is from San Francisco’s Bayview District. No such thefts have been reported at Marina El Cid or Mazatlan Marina.
2) Oblivion was the only boat anchored in the Old Harbor at the time.
3) In the last two months there have been at least three attempted dinghy thefts — two of them successful — at the Old Harbor / Stone Island anchorages. These are the only reports of attempted dinghy thefts we have received from Mexico this year.
Marek Nowicki and Helen Chien of the Green Cove Springs-based Cape Vickers 34 Raireva report that the Oblivion victims and other cruisers in the Mazatlan area have started a letter writing campaign to the Tourist Board, the Harbor Master, the Port Captain, and the Consulate. Even better, Eric Baicy and Sherrell Watson of the Seattle-based Pacific Seacraft 31 Sarana donated their spare dinghy to the victims.
Two days ago we spoke with Robert and Nancy Novak of the Sausalito-based Oyster 484 Shindig, who awakened one night at Stone Island to find a thief trying to unlock the outboard from the transom of their boat. When they yelled at him, the thief got into his dinghy and left. What surprised the couple is how casual he was about departing the scene of the attempted crime. "When he motored away in his dinghy, he did so at a very slow speed and without even bothering to look back at us," the couple said.
Would we anchor out in the Old Harbor / Stone Island? Not anymore than we’d stop to buy snacks at a Quickie Mart in certain parts of Detroit. What’s the point when there are so many other great places in Mexico — including other areas of Mazatlan — where there haven’t been any dinghy thefts?
In the summer of 2009, the crews of 30 or so Bay Area boats joined in the inaugural Delta Doo Dah, a laid-back Bay-to-Delta ‘rally’ we dreamed up over a bottle of champagne at the company Christmas party.
Meet the Race Chair: TYC’s Ian Matthew is pictured here at the wheel of his C&C 29 Siento el Viento.
If you’re a sailor in the northern hemisphere, you’re probably freezing your buns off.